Sunday, February 27, 2011

Honoring the Seasons

Berries In My Backyard!

There’s nothing better than picking a fresh blackberry straight from the vine during the hot summer months and popping it straight in your mouth!  Or, how does cozying up with a warm bowl of roasted root vegetable soup during the colder winter month’s sound?  Or, what about the urge to pick apples and pumpkins when the brilliant red and yellow leaves appear on the trees and the crisp fall air blows in?  Eating by honoring the seasons in this way puts us in touch with what it means to be human and connects us to our ancestors.    

Early Fall Harvest

Our ancestors ate with the seasons and danced with the rhythms of the Earth by honoring its cycles and patterns.  Unfortunately, as a nation at large, we’ve lost touch with this concept.  Our fast-paced and technologically-savvy society is always looking for a quick fix; we’ve become reliant on the idea that we can have whatever we want, whenever we want.  But is this a healthy mindset to have?  Or, should we slow down and learn from our ancestors?  I’m here to tell you that it is incredibly rewarding and empowering to do so, and worth every bit of anticipation.  

Local Rainbow Chard
(Photo by Sonia Duda)
Plus, when food is fresh and in season, nutrients are at their peak.  Each fruit, vegetable and plant requires a specific balance of minerals and nutrients in the soil to proliferate.  In turn, those same minerals and nutrients get transferred to our food and contribute to its vitality.  Now talking about the quality of soil in the U.S. is a topic for another discussion, but the idea is that food grown in its appropriate season is nutritionally superior to the alternative.  I’m sure that you intuitively already knew this, which brings us to our next reason for choosing foods that are in season.

Have you ever experienced the bursting and juicy succulence of a ripe tomato or berry that was picked straight from the vine?  How did it taste?  Now, have you also dined out in the winter time and ordered a salad that boasts “fresh” tomatoes, but quickly felt disappointed when dry and cardboard flavored tomatoes stiffly stood on your plate?  You can see my point, right?  Food that is in season definitely tastes better.  As a result, the joy of cooking and eating are brought to life. 

Local Fall Squash
(Photo by Sonia Duda)
Ok, so having a higher nutrient and flavor profile sound like excellent reasons for choosing foods in season, but what about the foods energetic profile?  I’m sure you guessed it: foods that grow in season are energetically more suitable for your body and to your health. Mother Nature definitely has her own wisdom here.  The foods that grow in their season are typically more energetically appropriate for the location you live in too.  For example, if you live in Florida versus Alaska, there will be a difference in the types of foods that are energetically fit for your body and health.  If you missed it, check out the blog post, Warming Mayan Dark Chocolate Pudding for more information on naming food energetics and eating foods that are warming during the colder winter months.  

Picking Local Rainbow Swiss Chard
But, that’s not all!  When we eat foods that are in season, we reduce our carbon foot print, respect the Earth and promote community.  Eating in season means that we are relying on foods that grow locally in our area.  As mentioned above, exactly what foods are in season will depend on the region and location you live in.  So, the best and easiest way to honor eating with the seasons is by supporting your local farmer and eating foods that grow in your local area.  You can also visit Seasonal Cornucopia for specifics on seasonal foods of the Pacific Northwest or Local Harvest for information around the U.S.        

Now, I have to admit that I make exceptions to eating with the seasons.  For one, I can’t live without my citrus fruits, as lemons are my absolute favorite.  But, there’s something special that comes with waiting for berry season or the fall harvest.  The anticipation of this moment in time connects me to myself by allowing me to slow down and be mindful of my actions, putting me back in rhythm with the Earth. 

So, how many of you already eat with the seasons, grow your own food or support your local farmer?  What are some other reasons you enjoy honoring the seasons? 

Wherever you’re at, I encourage you to celebrate fresh, seasonal foods in your homes today and bring harmony back to your life. 

Yours In Cooking & In Health,
Siona J


  1. this is so great, I have to try one of these ideas soon. Your blog is beautiful!

  2. Thank you, glad you like it and thanks for following! :) Siona